If you want to make it in the City, going to university first is surely a prerequisite - right? Well, many of our candidates are finding out that the graduate route isn’t the only way to a City career.
Increasing fees, decreasing time with lecturers, a fiercely competitive graduate job market. There are a variety of reasons young people are starting to consider alternatives to higher education - and we’re pleased to be able to offer some unique and exciting opportunities to those that can’t wait to start their careers.
Rosie was one such student. She completed her A levels at St Saviour’s & St Olave’s School, near Elephant & Castle, and did exceptionally well - but her next steps weren’t quite as clear.
“The risk of not being able to get a job after uni, on top of having a huge debt was something I did not want to chance,” she told us. “Especially as it was becoming more evident in the news that this was happening to many graduated students. I thought that if there was a different route of getting the same outcome of a degree, yet with work experience and a higher certainty of being employed – I would go for that instead. Hearing of the growing opportunities of apprenticeships in the finance sector, made my decision more concrete.”
Her teachers were certainly aware of her potential, and her interest in the practical side of business. “Rosie was a member of St Saviour's & St Olave's ‘gifted & talented’ cohort for many years and an outstanding A level student,” said John Breslin, Head of Sixth Form. “I think Rosie knew for some time that her future lay in a high performing and competitive business and that although she was more than capable of securing a ‘Russell Group’ level university place, this route was probably not for her.”
Knowing that The Brokerage offer a variety of great opportunities to talented students, we were invited to highlight our schemes to the Sixth Formers, where Rosie first heard about us. She was successful in joining the vocational trainee scheme at Newton Investment Management, part of BNY Mellon - giving her the amazing chance to study towards a full honours degree in Business & Management alongside working as a dividend administrator at Newton. So not only will she be getting a degree without the debt, but she’ll be earning a salary too!
Jabeen, who studied at Haverstock School in Chalk Farm, is another talented young Londoner who chose to put her skills to practical use rather than continue full time studies. She joined the Group IT division at UBS - as a full time, permanent employee; one of four Brokerage candidates joining the Swiss bank last summer.
“I feel that in the current economic climate where employers are cutting back on staff and there is increasing competition for jobs, starting an early career would be the most sensible and beneficial route for me,” she explains. “The most influential internal driver for me choosing not go to University is that I endeavour to engage in different activities in order to bring a richer wealth of experience to training or a career. I strongly believe our experiences define who we are and taking up this opportunity meant I would be able to challenge myself socially, physically and mentally, something I could not let pass!”
With a keen interest in politics and the issues facing young people, and as Camden Representative in the UK Youth Parliament, she told us about the importance of giving young people a choice and making sure that all students are able to access the variety of options available to them.
“Everyone is unique and everyone faces different challenges, has different ambitions and responds to situations differently,” she said. “I would strongly advise all students who are not sure about entering higher education to think logically and practically about what it is they want to achieve in life and if University really is the only way to do so. Especially with the rise in tuition fees, young people need to weight up their choices and think about what is best for them and not trying to meet other people's expectations.”
It is not just young people benefitting - City employers are increasingly recognising the value in investing in recruits at an early stage. Alongside the wide coverage of apprenticeships over the past year, there is a real groundswell of interest in college leavers that have the talent to attend university but are instead looking for a practical challenge.
It is very much a low-cost, high-retention recruitment solution, especially with the help that the Brokerage can provide in sourcing high-calibre, diverse candidates.
We’re pleased to be offering more opportunities than ever before to this summer’s college leavers, across the banking and finance sector and in a variety of roles from IT, to reinsurance, to the trading floor.
For students interested in hearing about these opportunities, you can register now for our City Careers Programme: Fast Track scheme - alongside our job opportunities, we will be helping you with your CV and interview skills and giving you a head start in finding your career in the City. If you’re a teacher and you believe that your students may interested in finding out more, please get in touch and we can arrange a short presentation to introduce the schemes we are delivering to your cohort.
For any employers or recruiters interested in finding out more about apprenticeships and college leaver schemes, please contact us for details.